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Ban for GAA champion who put car on roof while drunk

By Paul Higgins

Published 10/06/2016

A former GAA All-Ireland minor football champion has been banned from driving after he 'roofed' his car while more than twice the legal drink-drive limit
A former GAA All-Ireland minor football champion has been banned from driving after he 'roofed' his car while more than twice the legal drink-drive limit

A former GAA All-Ireland minor football champion has been banned from driving after he 'roofed' his car while more than twice the legal drink-drive limit.

Imposing a 16-month ban and fines of £350, District Judge Rosie Watters told 23-year-old Peter Carragher he was "lucky" to be standing in the dock at Lisburn Magistrates Court.

"You may not regard yourself as lucky standing there but you are lucky in that you walked away from this accident," Judge Watters said as Carragher nodded in agreement.

Earlier the court heard how police were called to the Hillsborough Road roundabout on May 15 after a motorist spotted a car "becoming airborne and landing on its roof".

A prosecuting lawyer described how Carragher was seen "crawling" from the wrecked car but fortunately for him all he sustained were cuts to his head and hand, adding that a sample of breath gave a reading of 76mg of alcohol per 100ml, more than twice the limit of 35mg.

Arrested and interviewed, Carragher, from the Glassdrumman Road in Crossmaglen, admitted he had had "a couple of drinks" with friends and that he had been on his way home when the accident happened.

He later pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and dangerous driving.

His defence solicitor told the court Carragher was a trainee electrician whose job "will undoubtedly be affected" by the driving ban, adding that he had glowing references from employers as well as one from his current football coach.

Carragher, who plays Gaelic football for St Mary's University College, was an All-Ireland minor champion in 2009 with Armagh.

As well as the fines, Judge Watters ordered Carragher to pay a £15 offender's levy and certified him for the drink-driving course which would reduce his ban but warned him that he will have to sit the extended driving test before he is allowed back on the road.

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